Discover Sidney, British Columbia: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty
Sidney, British Columbia, is a charming town nestled at the northern end of the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island. As one of the 13 Greater Victoria municipalities, Sidney is home to approximately 11,583 residents. The town is conveniently located just east of Victoria International Airport and about 6 km south of BC Ferries' Swartz Bay Terminal. Sidney is also the only Canadian port-of-call in the Washington State Ferries system, with ferries running to the San Juan Islands and Anacortes.
Sidney, British Columbia: A Town Divided by Highway 17
Highway 17, also known as Patricia Bay Highway, bisects Sidney from north to south. The town west of the highway is a mix of single-family residences and light industry. The majority of the town, including most of the service and retail outlets, is located east of the highway. This eastern sector also boasts many condominium-type buildings and single-family units. The island-studded Haro Strait, part of the Salish Sea, forms Sidney's eastern boundary, supporting a large boating and marine industry.
The Origin of Sidney, British Columbia
Sidney takes its name from nearby Sidney Island. In 1859, Captain Richards named the island after Frederick W. Sidney, a fellow officer in the survey branch of the Royal Navy.
Demographics of Sidney, British Columbia
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Sidney had a population of 12,318 living in 5,981 of its 6,321 total private dwellings. This represents a 5.5% increase from its 2016 population of 11,672. With a land area of 5.11 km2, Sidney had a population density of 2,410.6/km2 in 2021. The median age in Sidney was 60.4 in 2001, significantly higher than the British Columbia median age of 38.4.
Labour Force in Sidney, British Columbia
Sidney is primarily an industrial town, with most people working in the construction, manufacturing, and warehousing fields. Retail accounts for approximately 10% of the employment, while healthcare and social assistance employs 13%. Over 4,000 people are employed in Sidney, with an unemployment rate of 6.1%. The median income for a household in the town is $63,840.
Sister Cities of Sidney, British Columbia
On June 30, 2008, Sidney declared the twinning of Sidney and Niimi, Okayama, Japan. This was Sidney's third sister city, following Cairns, Queensland, Australia, and Anacortes, Washington, United States.
Attractions in Sidney, British Columbia
Sidney's most popular attraction is its position on the Salish Sea. The town is an eco-tourist destination, offering whale-watching, bird-watching, kayaking, and scuba-diving. Sidney is home to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre and the Sidney Museum and Archives. The town also hosts a street market on Thursday evenings and various events throughout the year.
Physiography of Sidney, British Columbia
Almost all of the land within Sidney's boundary is either flat or very gently sloping, providing a topography favourable for the town's elderly population. Most soils are clayey and poorly drained in their natural state.
Climate in Sidney, British Columbia
Sidney enjoys a cool Mediterranean climate with year-round mild temperatures and moderate rainfall. Most years see very little snow, and damaging winds are less frequent than in most other maritime areas of Canada.
Fauna in Sidney, British Columbia
The environs of Sidney provide habitat for a diverse array of fish and wildlife, both terrestrial and marine. The town is a growing mecca for bird watchers, whale watchers, scuba-divers, and eco-tourists.
Flora in Sidney, British Columbia
Sidney is situated within the coastal Douglas fir ecosystem, one of the most restricted ecosystems in Canada. The town is home to a variety of native and non-native plants, including many invasive species.